After the groundbreaking success of Kris Aquino’s previous horror flicks, Feng Shui(2004) and Sukob(2006), respectively.She is back once again, after 4 years, to give you another hair-raising movie.Dalaw from its trailer seemed to have puzzled everyone about what exactly “Dalaw” stands for and who is behind that shadowy entity who’s after Kris Aquino’s character (Stella).From the get-go this film is honored to all of the horror flicks Kris Aquino has done in the previous years.With the “Queen of Filipino Horror Movies”  sticking on her name we are likely to get induced upon watching the film.But still we are left with only but a question in mind, is Dalaw better than it’s predecessors? Read on to find out.

All of Stella’s cousins have a good life and are happy with their respective families. On the other hand, her relatives look on her because they feel that Stella has been making the wrong decisions in her life, especially when her previous marriage failed. For the sake of her son Paolo, Stella decides to re-marry another man, Anton, three years after her husband died in the hopes of having a whole and peaceful family life. Stella has inkling that Anton has another woman but she chooses not to argue about it anymore. She wants to believe that Anton is perfect for her. However, during the wedding, Milagros, her new mother-in-law, suffer stroke. Stella and Anton have to move in to her house. The house is a bit small and old, and a cemetery is located at the back of it. Stella’s life depreciates afterward, but still chooses to believe that she has done the right thing. As time goes by, Stella starts experiencing major haunting that endanger her life and the people around her. Olga, the caretaker, keeps on telling her that “someone” is following her. He is also having dreams about Danilo and thinks that he might be angry for marrying again. Stella doesn’t tell Anton anything about the haunting. She doesn’t want Anton to think that she’s not contented with the life Anton can give her. With all the clues pointing to her dead husband and the danger escalating, Stella tries to save her family from the ghost’s wrath. Along the way, secrets start to unravel and Stella is now unsure of why is she being haunted.

Surprisingly, Dalaw is not your ordinary Filipino horror movie.It’s an untold story, visually enticing, thought provoking and had lots of scary moments in it.The movie is fast-paced you won’t even have the chance to look who’s beside you (better not! you’ll dread!).The story is interesting and has a twist you should be on the look before it deceives you! For those who paid attention on the signs and missing pieces of the puzzle they probably foresaw the revelation coming.It’s a big revelation for most of the moviegoers.Even my cousins got confused of what,why and how the hell “that” happened! But I was able to figure it out in a scene where Anton have sort of ignored it’s presence.It was then seconded by the statements thrown out by Manang Olga and the unexplainable killing of one of Stella’s cousin.

Kris Aquino’s acting in Dalaw was superb. It didn’t felt awkward like in her previous projects.I must say, horror is definitely Kris Aquino’s forte(How many times do we have to say that? ha-ha!).She’s good in drama too but has to work in delivering those dramatic lines so as they won’t feel empty. Alongside Kris Aquino are line up of promising stars and veterans.Diether as Stella’s husband Anton and Maliksi as Stella’s son.Susan Africa(Milagros) is Anton’s mother in the story, superb acting even though she suffered stroke halfway through in the story – her role kept thrills coming spontaneously.Alessandra de Rossi plays the role of Trina, the tactless cousin of Stella; Kylie (Ina Feleo) on the other hand  is the supportive one.Karylle I say plays the most challenging role (she’s Lorna, Anton’s emotionally disturbed ex-girlfriend).Gina Pareño (Manang Olga) plays the role of a mysterious caretaker who can see ghost on her blind-eye and Empress (Marieta) had a remarkable role in the movie especially in the last 30 minutes of the film. Albeit these supporting casts had a very limited screen times in the movie they’re characters weren’t unnecessary.Gina Pareño stands out among the supporting cast for the wit of delivering famous pinoy movie lines in the movie.

Now to answer the questions from above, is Dalaw better than Sukob and Feng Shui? Maybe in a way. Yes! Arguably, yes. It pretty much sets a standard of its own but it still falls short of Sukob and Feng Shui. Those Chito Rono films were destined to be classics while this one feels like another average horror film.

I did scream a few times though with the thrilling scenes. I was honestly just holding back my scream (by covering my mouth with my hand) – that’s why by the time you’d watch Dalaw just feel free to scream to your lungs! From start to finish you will feel as if there’s someone following you, too! *Sabi ko na nga ba, ikaw ang sinusundan ng Dalaw!* And yes, Dalaw means “Visitor”.

To my final verdict the movie Dalaw is a shocker. Not a moment goes by without some real good scares and the story is nicely put together. It is not so gory – it’s muddy as hell.